OC Chapter Meeting Report - February 2010
Obsidian Entertainment hosted a capacity crowd at the February chapter meeting for the OC IGDA, with 140+ local developers and students turning out for a highly entertaining panel discussion on the topic of "Creative Writing in Video Games."
The meeting kicked off with an engaging presentation from Steven-Elliott Altman (best selling science fiction novelist, screenwriter and Lead Writer & Game Director for Acclaim), who spoke about his career as a game writer for the newly rebooted Acclaim Games, and about his involvement with the Writers Guild of America. The discussion covered Altman’s experiences in writing for Acclaim’s free MMORPG, 9Dragons, as well as the developments at the WGA related to the union’s efforts to expand coverage to video game writers.
Altman then joined a distinguished panel of local game writers for moderated discussion looking at story formulas, analyzing storylines versus game-play and the challenges between linear and non-linear stories in games.
The panel for the evening included:
- Chris Avellone, Creative Director, Obsidian Entertainment
- John Gonzalez, Lead Creative Designer, Obsidian Entertainment
- Anne Toole, Writer/Designer, 2008 WGA Nominee, The Witcher
- Leonard Boyarsky, Lead World Designer, Blizzard Entertainment
- Dan Arey, Senior World Designer, Blizzard Entertainment
- Cameron Dayton, Story Developer, Blizzard Entertainment
Chris Hood, chair of the IGDA OC chapter, moderated the panel and the audience asked as many questions as they could fit in as the informative session came to a close. The IGDA also captured video of the event, which we hope to make available to members in the near future.
Following the panel, lots of business cards were exchanged and great networking opportunities both before and afterwards were had by everyone who attended. This was obviously an interesting topic for our local community and hopefully can be continued in the future.
Look for the announcement soon for the March meeting, a social event at The Auld Dubliner at The District in Tustin, where we’ll certainly continue discussing this topic, as well as conducting an informal post mortem on everyone’s experiences at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.